Airplane Accidents

The unspeakable tragedy of an airplane accident generates questions about what happened, who is responsible and why.  Like airplanes themselves, these questions have complex answers with many moving parts.  The “Swiss Cheese” model of aviation accident reconstruction tells us that, though there are layers of safety, when flaws in each layer line up an airplane accident can happen.

There are knots to untie to reach the truth of what happened.  Often, government investigations are compromised by overworked staff and conflicts of interest that are inherent in the NTSB system.  We have published detailed information about immediate investigation facts for victims and families to reference in the days and hours after an accident.  Going forward, there are government investigations that involve documented conflicts, and independent investigations that the team at Gagliano Law Offices undertake on behalf of our clients.

Airplane accident lawsuits can involve various parties, including passengers, crew members, charter operators, airlines, manufacturers, maintenance providers, and even government entities responsible for air traffic control or airport operations.

Here are some key aspects to consider regarding airplane accident lawsuits:

  • Aviation is highly regulated, with thousands of regulation sections.  Your airplane accident lawyer should know these regulations and how to use them to your advantage.
  • Determining liability can be challenging due to the involvement of multiple parties.  Each airplane component part may be produced by a different manufacturer.  Potential defendants may include operators, manufacturers, mechanics, inspectors, air traffic controllers, or others in government.  Your lawyer should have engineering and aviation expertise to understand the roles of each of the parties and use that knowledge to your advantage.
  • Determining where a lawsuit should be filed is a complex task for airplane accident cases because airplanes move great distances in a short time.  The legal term that controls where a lawsuit can be filed is called “jurisdiction.”  Your lawyer should have significant interstate experience to successfully address complicated questions of jurisdiction.
  • In lawsuits resulting from airplane crashes, the aim is to seek compensation for various damages.  Damages depend upon state law and they can vary widely state-by-state.  Damages can include medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, emotional distress, funeral expenses (in wrongful death cases), and property damage. The amount of compensation can vary based on the specific circumstances of the accident and the application of state law.  Your lawyer should have interstate and international litigation experience.

John Gagliano and the team at Gagliano Law Offices have experience practicing law across the United States and overseas.  John is Board Certified in Aviation Law by the Florida Bar.

You can contact John directly via email at